Sad sack Redskins look bad again in prime time, this time in loss to Vikings

Each NFL team gets a turn in prime time. That makes bad matchups inevitable.

The NFL didn’t have to give us two Washington Redskins prime-time games though.

Washington embarrassed itself on prime time in Week 3 against the Chicago Bears, and everyone knew the Redskins weren’t beating the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night. The Redskins actually kept it fairly competitive, though the 19-9 loss still can’t be considered entertaining. The Vikings only scored 19 points but they also never had to punt, the first time they’ve gone without a punt in a game since 2004.

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When it comes to the terrible Redskins, getting a somewhat close game is about the best-case scenario for viewers. The NFL’s decision to schedule the Redskins for multiple prime-time games this season is baffling.

Redskins on touchdown drought

Against Miami, Redskins rookie receiver Terry McLaurin scored a 33-yard touchdown with 9:42 left in the third quarter. That was Oct. 13. Over the nine-plus quarters after that, Washington has not scored a touchdown.

At least the Redskins scored this week. Last week they lost 9-0 to the San Francisco 49ers in a rainstorm. Against the Vikings, they managed three field goals. Progress.

Washington lost quarterback Case Keenum after the first half with a concussion, and that forced rookie Dwayne Haskins into the lineup. Haskins, the team’s first-round pick, is the franchise’s only real hope and the only interesting thing about the second half of their season. He hasn’t started yet, and fans want to see him play. The problem is he hasn’t been very good when he’s played.

Haskins’ first NFL action resulted in three interceptions against the New York Giants. On Thursday night he sailed a pass to McLaurin over the middle and it was picked off by the Vikings. That came at a crucial part of the game, right after Washington stopped Kirk Cousins on a fourth-and-1 quarterback sneak. Washington trailed 16-9 at that point and had a chance. A touchdown there and it would have been an intriguing fourth quarter.

But Haskins’ interception pretty much closed the door on Washington giving us a good show on Thursday night. Minnesota got a field goal after that, then was able to chew up most of the clock on a long fourth-quarter drive. Washington fell to 1-7. The Vikings are 6-2.

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Dwayne Haskins through the years
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Dwayne Haskins through the years
Washington Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defenders Anthony Barr (55) and Everson Griffen (97) during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Washington Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins watches a play on the field during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Washington Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins looks for an opening during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Baltimore Ravens at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Washington Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr., right, poses for a selfie with Redskins fan Davon Adams, from Washington, following an NFL football minicamp at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va., Wednesday, June 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins passes during NFL Pro Day at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, Wednesday, March 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR JCPENNEY - COLLECTION by Michael Strahan and JCPenney teamed up with Tennessee Titans Running Back Derrick Henry and NFL draft prospects, Nick Bosa, Josh Allen and Dwayne Haskins to host young men from the Passport to Manhood program at Andrew Jackson Boys & Girls Club for a motivating day, highlighting the importance of leadership on and off the field, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (Brett Carlsen/AP Images for JCPenney)
Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
FILE - In this Jan. 1, 2019, file photo, Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins passes during the first half of the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game against Washington, in Pasadena, Calif.The Washington Redskins had their sights set on Dwayne Haskins and didn’t even have to trade up to get their quarterback of the future. Washington selected the Ohio State standout with the 15th pick in the NFL draft, Thursday, April 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, right, celebrates with quarterback Dwayne Haskins after Ohio State defeated Washington 28-23 in the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins runs against Washington during the first half of the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Heisman Trophy finalists, from left, Dwayne Haskins, from Ohio State; Kyler Murray, from Oklahoma; and Tua Tagovailoa, from Alabama, pose with the trophy during a media event Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. (7) poses for photographers with team mascot Brutus after an NCAA football game against Maryland, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, in College Park, Md. Ohio State won 52-51 in overtime. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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Washington has little hope

The Redskins already fired their coach, Jay Gruden. There was a report that interim coach Bill Callahan would get consideration for the permanent job, but it’s not like the Redskins are playing that well with him.

Washington needs a total reset. Cynics will say that no progress will be made as long as owner Daniel Snyder and team president Bruce Allen are still around, and they might not be wrong. The dysfunction of the Redskins will make it tougher for them to land a quality head-coaching candidate. Many good coaches have come through Washington under Snyder’s watch, and none of them left the job with a winning record.

 The roster doesn’t inspire confidence either. Haskins has to hit, and that’s far from a sure thing. McLaurin is a real find, and Washington needs all the talented blue-chip players it can get. They have some promising players on the defensive line. But the roster isn’t necessarily young. It’s not a job that is promising from any realistic angle.

There’s only eight games to go in this miserable Redskins season. The only good news? They’re done on prime time for the rest of the season.

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